LG G Watch R hands-on: circular Android Wear magic

Last week, LG revealed its round Android Wear contender to the popular Moto 360 – the LG G Watch R, which is the first smartwatch from a major manufacturer to sport a perfectly-round display (the Moto 360 has some “wasted” space at the bottom). But is this enough to rule out that the G Watch R is the best smartwatch up until now? Well, we can't tell if this will be the case indeed unless we gave the G Watch R right at our fingertips, and at IFA 2014, we had this chance.

Let's start with the design of the gizmo. It's a metal-clad wearable and, frankly said, looks spectacular. Well, its display is not bent as the one of the Samsung Gear S, but  No wasted space here, folks, just a good-looking 1.3” plastic OLED display with a resolution of 320x320 pixels. The watch itself is made of metal and has a relatively large size, but then again, we are talking about smartwatches here – all of the hardware bolts and nuts have to be inside. Despite the size, however, the G Watch R feels quite good on the hand.

An IP67 water-resistance certification is also on board, which somewhat makes it up for the big size. Speaking of hardware insides, LG's round contender comes with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon, half a gigabyte of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage space, while a 410mAh battery keeps the lights on.

The G Watch R comes with a standard, 22mm strap, which is user replaceable. LG says that it will be offering a number of different ones for its round wearable, but initially, it will ship with the default strap – a calf leather one, black in color.

Being powered by Android Wear, one would expect the LG G Watch R to be quite similar to the company's first wearable, the G Watch, in terms of interface and on-board features. And this is spot-on correct – both of LG's wearables come with the same overall level of functionality.

As a whole, we feel like the G Watch R is a notable addition to the Android Wear world, and although it doesn't necessarily run circles around its main rivals, it employs most of the features that have been wildly-anticipated by the potential customers - Android Wear, stainless steel, classic head-turning design.

The LG G Watch R will try to grab a bigger portion of the market when it lands on the shelves this October. By then, however, it will have to face some tough competition from the likes of the aforementioned Moto 360, Samsung Gear S, and Asus' brand new and compelling ZenWatch



1. sgodsell

Posts: 7600; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Its a nice looking watch. Even though others talk about the Moto 360 flat tire. I like the fact that the Moto 360 has a light sensor to be able to dim the display. Plus there was a rumor of a UV sensor in the Moto 360. Not to mention I would also like wireless charging as well.

11. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Owning a smartwatch without a light sensor, I can honestly say that I won't buy another one that does not have it. A light sensor is a must.

2. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I was hoping for it to be smaller and more like the promo pictures but still, it's not huge like the Moto 360. October is a long month away though so I might just get whatever comes out first. Lol

13. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

"not huge like the Moto 360." From pictures it actually looks like the G Watch R is the same size and the Moto 360 supposedly has a larger screen (1.5") as well... Motorola made a great decision by maximizing the display size with minimal bezel design.

15. robcar

Posts: 110; Member since: Jan 18, 2011

Moto 360 looks like thicker and bulkier, and the lower edge just looks weird.

16. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

It's all how you look at the pictures. Look at image 6, if you made the side straight up and down like the Moto 360, it seems like it would be the same size. LG was smart by separating the body from the bezel to give an illusion that it's thinner. As for the bottom bar (edge as you put it); like I said if the Moto 360 does infact have an larger display then it's worth it. Because even with that bar it still has more screen real estate. Not to mention that also houses a light sensor (a HUGE plus).

20. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I am not sure if that dial is playing tricks on the eye or not but the LG watch looks passable as normal watch size and the moto 360 looks huge. The actually dimensions might be different but I am just judging by looks and that's what counts for jewelry.

3. pavsidhu

Posts: 214; Member since: May 20, 2014

Not really a fan of the bezel design.

14. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

It's a WATCH not a phone.

18. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

It's a MINI SMARTPHONE not a watch. But seriously these smartwatches are closer related to smartphones than watches at all. They even have specs that flagship phones had in 2010. So in that regard. Small bezel = more screen real estate.

19. thartist

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 14, 2014

Aaand bezel is not a concept invented by the smartphone industry. That bezel is hideous.

4. Feanor

Posts: 1420; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Looks great but I'm used in charging my Smartwatch 2 only every 4 days. Will it last that long? Would it actually last through a day?

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7600; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I have both the LG G Watch and the Gear Live. Both easily last a full day. If I play a lot of space invaders on the watch. Then it won't last a full day.

10. Feanor

Posts: 1420; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Not enough. The Smartwatch 2 you forget that it needs charging. Everyday charging two phones, a tablet and a smartwatch, it's too much. Sony wins in this regard thanks to trasflective screen.

5. Blaz86

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Hmm. Looks cheap to me. :/

6. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The design of the bezel is so old, reminded me of analog clocks back in the late 90's. The Moto 360 is much sleeker, ans I hope it will have a 46-47mm diameter.

12. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Any guy who wears watches that are 46mm and up is trying to compensate for a small body part, if you know what I mean.

8. hulk_14

Posts: 72; Member since: Dec 14, 2013

No GPS? Garbage.

9. junaidahmed

Posts: 103; Member since: Sep 04, 2014

moto 360 \m/

17. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I only have two questions, how long is the battery life and will it burn my wrist like LGs last smart watch?

21. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

The "OK, Google" text has got to go. Hopefully there is some way to turn that off along with the always on / always listening stuff. I am not old enough to start talking to my watch...

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